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Sweatshirts from Sweatshops

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Critical analysis of the “Sweatshirts from Sweatshops” story shows that there are several violations of the Universal Intellectual Standards. In this exercise I will try to identify them and suggest some corrective improvements.

The sentence “[a]lmost 70 percent of the Honduran workers are female” does not follow the principles of accuracy and precision. According to the Global Gender Gap Report, 2011, the female-to-male ratio in the active labor force constituted 51% in Honduras (p 42). This allows to conclude that the statement is inaccurate when referred to the total number of Honduran workers. Besides, the author needs to specify the sentence with respect to which group of Honduran workers is evaluated. It could be paraphrased to “70 percent of Transterra’s employees in Honduras are female”.

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Another error can be found in the last sentence of the same paragraph: “For this dangerous and degrading work, laborers are paid an average of only 68 cents per hour”. It is unclear what is meant by the “degrading work”. There can be some different understandings of this clause. One reader can infer that the working conditions are becoming worse. While another person may believe that the employees are degrading morally and/or professionally at this factory. The true understanding needs to be clarified by the author.

Principles of fairness and accuracy are violated in the statement “…if we continue to to wear and buy Cromwell logo apparel we become accompices in the abusive employment practices of Transterra Textiles”. Students of some colleges may have no other choice than to wear Cromwell clothes prescribed by the college rules. Besides, there is no evidence that refusal of some group of students to buy products of Trasterra Textiles will somehow make change in its employment policy.

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The final proposition “to convince Cromwell’s director of auxiliary services to investigate the employment practices of other garment suppliers” is not relevant to the analyzed problem of poor unemployment practices at the Honduran factory of Transterra. This point could be excluded from the discussion.

Further, the analyzed paper has a number of logical fallacies which affect credibility of the presented opinion and supportive points. It is easy to notice that the author uses generalization when refers to the Honduran factory as the whole Transterra Textile company. It is not obvious that the employment policy in Honduran is the same to other Transterra’s corporate view.

The “red herring” fallacy occurs when the author refers to the local laws’ prohibition for children under fourteen to work on factories. This statement is not relevant to the company’s internal employment policy and takes readers’ attention to the legislative issues of Honduran government.

Another example of a logical fallacy in the article is the statement that there is only “two things we can do to put an end to this exploitation”. It provides an example of false dilemma. There can be some other alternatives than insisting that Cromwell make business only with “socially responsible” companies or public refusal to wear Cromwell’s clothes.

Emotional language is applied in the very beginning of the story which starts with the flattery “friends”. The author also uses peer pressure to put an accent on the moral side of the issue by claiming that those, who do not support the “global economic justice”, become oppressors. This statement is also one more example of false dilemma.

Thus, the analysis of “Sweatshirts from Sweatshops” article shows that the author needs to be more clear, precise, accurate, and fair when claiming and supporting his or her point of view. Moreover, it is important to include the ideas that are relevant to the discussion. In order to make the reasoning credible, one also needs to avoid logical fallacies such as emotional language, false dilemma, or inappropriate generalization.

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